The market is saturated with a multitude of teas and beverages targeted at Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), all making bold claims about curing or reversing the condition. It’s completely understandable to feel perplexed by the array of choices. Among these options, one drink that has gained significant popularity for its potential benefits in managing PCOS is spearmint tea. But does this tea genuinely deliver on its promises? And if it does, how does it contribute to symptom improvement? Are there substantiated pieces of evidence supporting its effectiveness? Continue reading to find the answers to these inquiries.
Understanding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinological condition characterized by hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance and ovaries overproducing androgens, which are responsible for giving cystic appearance to the ovaries. It’s worth noting that some women with PCOS may not exhibit these cysts (immature follicles), while some women without PCOS may have this ovarian morphology.
Before delving into the potential benefits of spearmint tea, let’s first explore the concept of hyperandrogenism, which refers to an excess of male hormones in the body. PCOS is a condition characterized by hormonal imbalances, and its diagnosis is typically based on the Rotterdam Criteria, which consists of three features, at least two of which must be met for a diagnosis. One of these criteria relates to the presence of excessive androgens. Studies indicate that 9.13% to 22.5% of women with PCOS in India experience hyperandrogenism. Now, let’s examine in more detail how spearmint tea may offer a potential solution to reverse hyperandrogenism.
What Is Spearmint Tea?
Spearmint, an herb found in various products such as chewing gum, essential oils, mints, perfumes and teas, is well-known for its delightful minty flavour that freshens breath. It’s also a versatile ingredient in culinary traditions worldwide, appearing in main courses, sauces and desserts.
Beyond its minty taste, spearmint tea offers a range of health benefits. Like other herbal teas, it helps keep your body hydrated, providing a more enticing option to plain water. Adequate hydration can enhance sleep quality, cognitive function and mood. Spearmint tea serves as an excellent choice for individuals with caffeine sensitivity since it is caffeine-free.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that spearmint possesses antioxidant properties. These antioxidants play a crucial role in safeguarding your cells from potential harm caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of serious conditions like cancer.
What Are the Benefits?
- Lower Free Testosterone Levels: As we’ve established, hyperandrogenism results in an excess of male hormones in the body, with testosterone being one of them. A study was conducted involving two groups of women: one group consumed spearmint tea twice daily, while the other group received a placebo. After a month, the research findings indicated that the group consuming spearmint tea exhibited reduced levels of both free and total testosterone in their bloodstream compared to the control group.
Therefore, spearmint tea may have a favourable impact on decreasing testosterone levels in the body, potentially alleviating symptoms associated with excess testosterone such as male-pattern baldness and acne. While it cannot eliminate existing facial or abnormal body hair growth, it has demonstrated a positive response in terms of reducing or slowing the rate of abnormal hair growth.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Persistent low-level inflammation is a constant concern for individuals dealing with PCOS. Spearmint tea boasts a high antioxidant content that effectively reduces oxidative stress within the body, potentially mitigating inflammation. This presents a clear and beneficial advantage for those managing PCOS.
- Addresses Gut Problems: PCOS often leads to compromised gut health, causing issues like bloating, nausea, acidity and various other symptoms that can further deteriorate gut health. Spearmint tea, being caffeine-free and herbal, can be a useful remedy for alleviating gut-related symptoms and addressing indigestion.
- Potential Blood Sugar Regulation: Spearmint tea, being a low-calorie and caffeine-free beverage, can serve as a sensible alternative to calorie-rich drinks like milk tea or coffee. For individuals with PCOS related to insulin resistance or those at risk of prediabetes, spearmint tea may be a choice to help manage blood sugar levels. However, further research is required to gain a deeper understanding of this potential effect.
- Promotes Hormonal Balance: Hormones in the body often communicate with one another, so an imbalance in one hormone can trigger a cascade effect, impacting the levels of other hormones. Spearmint tea’s capacity to reduce androgens may also lead to decreased levels of hormones like luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. This hormone-regulating property suggests that consistent consumption of spearmint tea may contribute to menstrual cycle regularity.
What Are the Disadvantages?
- Pregnancy: While spearmint and spearmint oil are frequently included in culinary dishes, the consumption of large quantities of spearmint during pregnancy is potentially risky and may be harmful when taken orally. Excessive consumption of spearmint tea, in particular, has the potential to negatively affect the uterus. It is advisable to avoid the excessive intake of spearmint during pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding: Spearmint and spearmint oil are commonly found in foods. However, there is insufficient reliable information available to determine the safety of higher quantities of spearmint during breastfeeding. To err on the side of caution, it is best to limit consumption to normal food quantities.
- Kidney Disorders: There is a possibility that spearmint tea could exacerbate kidney damage. The excessive consumption of spearmint tea might worsen existing kidney disorders.
- Liver Disease: Spearmint tea may have the potential to increase liver damage. Using excessive amounts of spearmint tea could potentially worsen liver disease.
The Link Between Spearmint Tea and PCOS Management
Consider giving spearmint tea a try if you have PCOS, particularly if you’re experiencing noticeable hyperandrogenism and its associated symptoms. This herbal remedy has been shown to contribute to the reduction of hair loss, acne and unwanted hair growth. Additionally, it may assist in managing blood sugar levels, alleviating digestive concerns and potentially enhancing cognitive function.
How To Incorporate More Herbal Teas Into Your Diet
- Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea is derived from daisy flowers and has been enjoyed for centuries. To prepare it, dried chamomile flowers are steeped in hot water. This caffeine-free tea is rich in antioxidants and offers several benefits:
- Promotes better sleep, alleviating insomnia.
- Eases stress and promotes relaxation.
- Provides relief from the common cold and cough.
- May reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Aids digestion and soothes digestive discomfort.
2. Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea is made from peppermint plant leaves and is naturally caffeine-free. It is a good source of vitamins such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and Vitamins A & C, primarily known for its menthol content, which imparts a cooling effect. Here are its advantages:
- Accelerates metabolism.
- Supports digestion and aids bowel movements.
- Relieves stomach pain and discomfort.
- Assists in managing sleep problems and insomnia.
- Acts as an antispasmodic, relieving nausea and potentially preventing vomiting.
- Effective for motion sickness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Ginger Tea: Ginger tea, extracted from the Zingiber officinale root, is a spice native to Southeast Asia. It offers a range of benefits due to its disease-fighting antioxidants. Here are its benefits:
- Natural pain reduction.
- Alleviates nausea.
- Relieves constipation.
- Aids in managing stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Helps prevent heartburn.
- Anti-inflammatory properties.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- May prevent acid reflux by maintaining oesophageal sphincter tone.
- Can potentially reduce the loss of brain cells associated with Alzheimer’s disease
4. Hibiscus Tea: Hibiscus tea is derived from hibiscus flower extracts and boasts high vitamin C, mineral and antioxidant content. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and offers various benefits:
- Helps lower high blood pressure.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Supports flu prevention.
- Lowers high blood pressure.
- Aids in reducing bad cholesterol levels.
- Promotes weight loss by reducing sugar absorption.
5. Moringa Herbal Tea: Moringa herbal tea is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, providing essential nutrients for health. Its benefits include:
- Combating malnutrition.
- Preventing arsenic poisoning.
- Boosting testosterone levels and improving sexual health.
- Reducing insulin resistance and regulating blood sugar.
- High insoluble fibre content.
6. Lemongrass Herbal Tea: Lemongrass herbal tea has a citrusy flavour and is rich in vitamins. It supports digestion and is commonly consumed after meals. Here are its benefits:
- Contains anxiety-reducing properties.
- Boosts metabolism, aiding in calorie burning.
- Provides essential nutrients for skin and hair.
- Enhances oral health and helps prevent cavities.
- Increases red blood cell count.
- Relieves bloating by promoting urine production.
- Helps lower blood pressure and reduce fluid retention.
7. Rosemary Herbal Tea: Rosemary, an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean, is used in both culinary and medicinal applications. It has a tart and bitter taste and provides several benefits:
- Supports healthy brain circulation, reducing headaches and potentially preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Contains the potent antioxidant carnosic acid, protecting against oxidative stress.
- Boosts the immune system and relieves cold symptoms.
- Exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and may serve as an anticarcinogenic.
8. Jasmine Herbal Tea: Jasmine tea, made from leaves grown at high elevations, offers these advantages:
- Increases metabolism and enhances nutrient absorption.
- Contains heart-healthy catechins, reducing cholesterol levels.
- Decreases inflammation of veins and arteries.
- Supports weight loss by aiding glucose metabolism.
- Promotes better digestion and overall oral health.
- Boosts red blood cell count and reduces bloating by increasing urine production.
- Lowers blood pressure and relieves fluid retention.
Work With a Professional for a Customized Diet Plan
Collaborating with a professional for a customized diet plan can be a highly effective way to achieve your health and nutrition goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, manage a medical condition or optimize your dietary habits, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to work with a professional for a personalized diet plan:
- Identify Your Goals:
Determine your specific health or nutrition objectives. Are you aiming for weight loss, muscle gain, improved energy levels, managing a medical condition or simply maintaining overall health?
- Choose the Right Professional:
Seek out a registered dietitian (RD) or a certified nutritionist with the appropriate credentials and expertise in your area of interest. Ensure they have experience working with clients who share similar goals or dietary needs.
- Schedule an Initial Consultation:
Contact the chosen professional and schedule an initial consultation. During this meeting, you will discuss your goals, dietary preferences, any medical conditions, allergies, dietary restrictions and your current eating habits.
- Share Your Medical History:
Be open and honest about your medical history, including any existing health conditions, medications and supplements you’re taking. This information is crucial for developing a safe and effective plan.
- Discuss Lifestyle Factors:
Talk about your daily routines, physical activity level, sleep patterns and stress levels. These lifestyle factors can significantly impact your dietary needs and choices.
- Set Realistic Expectations:
Work with your nutrition professional to establish achievable and realistic goals. Setting unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and frustration.
- Collaborate on a Customized Plan:
Your nutrition professional will create a tailored dietary plan based on your goals, preferences and nutritional requirements. This plan should be sustainable and adaptable to your lifestyle.
- Review and Adjust:
Periodically meet with your nutrition professional to review your progress, discuss any challenges or concerns and make necessary adjustments to your plan.
- Seek Clarifications:
Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification if you’re unsure about any aspect of your plan. Understanding the rationale behind dietary recommendations can help you adhere to them.
- Stay Committed:
Adherence is key to the success of your customized diet plan. Stay committed, track your progress and communicate regularly with your nutrition professional to address any issues that arise.
- Monitor Results:
Continuously monitor your progress, both in terms of your health and how well you’re meeting your dietary goals. Share this information with your nutrition professional during follow-up appointments.
- Celebrate Milestones:
Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Positive reinforcement can help maintain motivation and compliance.
Learn More With Veera
Despite varying opinions on its effects, it is clear that spearmint tea consumption is not harmful. Several bioactive compounds are present in spearmint tea, like isoflavones, which give them antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. A few possible benefits you can experience from consuming spearmint tea include mood elevation, alertness, increased metabolism, etc. However, spearmint tea is not safe if consumed in excessive quantities. Talk to the experienced care managers at Veera Health to learn more.